| Gaya district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agarwal (second from right) inspects the fair ground for the upcoming Pitripaksh Mela on Monday. Picture by Suman |
The district administration will include articles in Hindi, English, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu in the souvenir, Tarpan, for the first time on Pitripaksh Mela this year.
Till date, articles only in Hindi used to get published in the souvenir that is released every year during the mela. This year till now, articles in all the mentioned languages have been made available apart from Tamil.
The Gaya district magistrate, Sanjay Kumar Agarwal, said the idea behind including articles of different languages in the souvenir is to attract lakhs of pilgrims who visit the city from across the country during the 17-day Pitripaksh Mela in particular and throughout the year in general.
“Several pilgrims arriving here do not know Hindi. The inclusion of articles of various languages apart from Hindi will help the pilgrims know more about the importance of Gaya and the pinddaan rituals. The souvenir could also earn more revenue, as more pilgrims will buy it. If the pilgrims find an article in their languages, they will be attracted to buy it,” he said.
The souvenir used to get published under various titles since its inception in 1995. The principle editor, souvenir, Gowardhan Prasad Saday said in 1995 it was published under the title of Charanamrit. Then it got published under the titles of Niranjana, Setu, Archana, Parikrama, Aasthaa, Naivedya, Lilajana, Pushpanjali, Shraddhanjali and Tirthamrit.”
It’s in 2008 when a decision was taken at the meeting held for Pitripaksh Mela to publish the souvenir under the title of Tarpan every year.
Saday has been the principle editor of the souvenir since its first edition in 1995.
The articles provide information about the Pitripaksh Mela, the religious and historical importance of pinddaan, Gayapal pandas, Falgu river, Gaya and its surrounding places of religious importance, vedis (the mound-like structure where pinddaan is performed) and other related subjects.
Every year, the souvenir is released at the inaugural function of the mela. This year, chief minister Jitan Ram Majhi is expected to inaugurate the Pitripaksh Mela on September 8. The souvenir is also likely to be released on that day.
The souvenir includes messages from the vice-president, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Bihar governor D.Y. Patil, the chief minister and other officials of state and the district administration.